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To Eradicate Poverty, Children Must be at the Fore of New Developmental Goals

That millions of the world's poorest children are denied a fair start in life and that unequal opportunities have left 600 million children living in extreme poverty, is more than sufficient reason that children must be at the core of all new Sustainable Development Goals to eradicating poverty by 2030.

The United Nations Children's Agency, UNICEF, yesterday called for children to be at the center of new development goals for 2030 warning that unless children are placed at the core of planning, many more will be left behind living in extreme poverty on less than $1.25-a-day, denied education, healthcare and suffering malnutrition.

In a Thomson Reuters Foundation www.trust.org report, the Executive Director of UNICEF, Anthony Lake explained: "The lives and futures of the most disadvantaged children matter - not only for their own sake, but for the sake of their families, their communities and their societies." 

Hence, when world leaders meet in September later this year to adopt  a set of new development objectives like ending extreme poverty, reducing child mortality and tackling climate change,  the amelioration of the lives of millions of children, should be at the center of all goals. 

While some Millennium Development Goals were successful in alleviating the lives of many children, UNICEF called for more action and participation. As the number of children dying before their fifth birthday has fallen to six million a year today from 13 million in 1990, children from the poorest families remain twice as likely to die as those from the richest households. 

Moreover, under present trends without adopting new goals with children at the center, it would take close to 100 years for girls in sub-Saharan Africa's poorest families to get a basic education, UNICEF assessed.

Trends contributing to the dire conditions of more than 600 million children have continued because governments often focused on the "easiest-to-reach" children and communities, thus, those greatest in need, the most vulnerable, are left behind, the Thomson Reuters Foundation report noted.

Therefore, the existence of 600 million children living in poverty must not be accepted. Their conditions must be ameliorated; and whatever goals the stalwarts of development and of action set in September, children - as the vanguard of change in all societies, must be at the fore of all new Sustainable Development Goals.